Monday, April 14, 2014

Five Things I've Learned

In the last six months, I’ve spent a lot of time in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Here’s what I’ve learned.

1. Bring a snack. Bring your patience. And bring a Kindle full of books. Our longest wait was 90 minutes past the appointment time. And then, the insurance billed for an extra-long appointment when we only saw the doctor for 10 minutes max.

2. Layers of clothing. Some rooms are sweltering. Others are icy. One nurse greeted us with blankets and said, “It’s freezing down here and we have no control over the thermostat.” I was thankful I wasn’t the one in a cotton gown.

3. Go to graduate school in math. All the doctors oooh and aaah when they find a patient doing math in grad school—they treat you like they are caring for a brain trust. No one cares when you have a degree in English.

4. University Hospital Parking. Don’t bother looking for a space in level one or two or even six—it’s not worth the time. Head straight for the roof. Be patient with people in front of you who haven’t learned this rule and so waste fifteen minutes meandering through the parking structure while a line of ten cars stretches out behind them. (Also find out who’s the architect for these things and demand that they make it possible to jet straight to the top.)

5. Maintain a well-controlled sense of humor. The doctors and nurses aren’t out to get you—that’s the insurance company’s job. And when you call the insurance company and talk to a rep who says, “I’m so sorry. But I want you to know that we aren’t evil,” don’t laugh.

File:Syringe with needle and needle cap.jpeg
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.